New sanctions on Iran are broadening to include entire industries, making it more difficult for the country to use front operations and helping the U.S. tighten the noose in fighting against the country’s nuclear expansion.
The new measures, signed by President Barack Obama last week, target shipping, ports, and even Iran’s government-controlled media, reports the Washington Post
, and amount to a true trade embargo that could threaten the country’s economy.
The sanctions come at a time when Iran may be ready to resume negotiations with the United States and world powers about limiting its nuclear program. Saeed Jalili, president of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said the new talks will likely take place this month, and a spokesman for the European Union confirmed that new negotiations were expected soon.
Sanctions have already hit Iran hard, with the country’s currency value dropping by more than 40 percent since August and exports of petroleum falling by half. However, Iran hasn’t yet accepted serious cuts in its nuclear program, leading to the latest package of sanctions.
The new measures were approved by a bipartisan vote, even though some in the Obama administration at first said they could undermine international support for sanctions.
The new sanctions target international companies that conduct business with Iranian firms in several targeted industries, including blocking Iran from buying aluminum, steel, coal, and other materials used in construction and automaking.
Some argue, though, that the policy brings too much harm to Iranian civilians, while others advocate even tougher measures that could include military action.
But while the sanctions have slammed Iran’s economy, they have not created widespread poverty. Consumer spending is down, however. The price of essential medical treatments has more than doubled, and while food is available, it costs more.
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